This is a book review of Monsters, by Peter Cawdron, who paints an ugly and yet, believable portrait of how mankind can devolve into a barbaric species with no technology, and how humans grasp at the fantasy tales of men who could fly or how they used to talk to each other over great distances in little boxes. Or myths of science and reading. It’s a crazy compelling good read.
Peter takes you through the phases of devolution in a very believable fashion. So much so that it scares you to think how easy he made it look. Monsters is like a modern-day new chapter of an amazing new Twilight Zone episode.
Man has devolved, the science that man believed in, failed the species when a comet “missed” Earth, but dusted the atmosphere with contaminated particles that later, are responsible for changing our environment and the animals we share it with.
At first the issue is just nuclear winters. Then the mutations start to show up. And through it all, the steady decline of man continues to slide downward as no one takes the early changes serious enough to take the right actions. (Sounds sort of familiar, depending on what side of the global warming argument you like to sit on.)
But when man finally realizes what’s happening, it was too late and we devolve into local municipalities and survival is reduced to who might have the bigger club. That, and anyone who might have the skill of reading, is denounced. And those who can read, must do so in hiding. The premise being that the same skills from reading, led to science, and science failed humanity. So it was the fault of science, as some see it, and hence, reading is frowned upon.
On Amazon: Monsters
But when we do meet readers in Monsters, it’s a wondrous tale of escape and imagination painted beautifully by Peter as characters describe this secret liberty of theirs. A liberty that’s an individual freedom, an artistic expression of what reading is really about. That’s what you’ll get in this post-apocalyptic tale of man’s greatest failure by science that one can imagine. At least in the beginning.
And Peter Cawdron paints a wonderful landscape of just what reading can be or where it can take a reader, which is what this book meant for me. It opened my own eyes to an additional angle of how to look at stories I come across and the daring imagination it takes to create these worlds.
Once the disaster settles in and humans are pickled, Monsters covers a few generations of story and we watch the new fight out of the muck and back into the cycle that’s called evolution. I loved reading the book, could not get enough, and hoping Peter is reading this, I think there’s a ton of room for a great sequel or a smart prequel as apes take over the … oh, sorry, wrong franchise.
Peter is the indie (self-published) author behind the Galactic Exploration collection of stories, and I found that to be a great and entertaining read as well.
Peter’s motivation for this story of Monsters stems from the realization that reading is a relatively modern phenomenon and, throughout history, reading has usually only been reserved for the privileged. He touches on the terrors of things we take for granted, like basic medical treatment, and it makes you think about what we have now.